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Alaskander, thank you for sharing your photos with us!!! Some very nice fish!
I've got a question for you, if you don't mind???
Our group goes to Basswood the first week in June...We fish Back Bay for bluegills and have a great time with those large bulls and cows (c&r). We also fish from Wind Bay to Frog Bay and do real well with the walleyes. My question is about the crappies... we get a few but can't seem to quite figure out a consistant location/depth. I've seen that they have not spawned yet. We have also tried the deeper water close to the reeds.. Where could they be??? This year we are going to try to focus on crappies ( hard to do with all of the other excellant fishing).
Thank you for any clues. -nunzio

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Nunzio....Great question! I've been approached several times in regards to this very question. The best advice I can give you is to fish early mornings and evenings! My approach to the Back Bay Crappie situation is to check the surface water temp close to the weedline that you intend to fish. You don't have to do this, but it saves me time, here's why:
I usually fish the shallows right off the bat to see if any crappies have come in to feed in preperation for spawning. If so you will catch the active fish right away. If the water temp is approaching 60 degrees F then I know that the crappies are either spawning or preparing to spawn. If you are there two weeks before the spawn you want to check shallow for the fish that are actively feeding and concentrate your efforts deeper for the fish that are concentrating before they push into the shallows. The crappies in Back Bay are not that prevelant, but of quality size. If I am not seeing or catching any fish in the shallows I will move out into 10'-25' and cast beetle spins, or jigs with small twister tails on them. This will give me an Idea if the crappies are suspending over deep water or holding tight to bottom in deep water. Use your electronics to find them! They are usually not far from the shallows, but out suspended in the water column just hanging out. This is why I mention fishing in the morning or evening. I have found the crappies suspended over deep water in the middle of the day with no intention of biting and then in the late afternoon they will either surface feed or come into 5'-15' of water to feed. This process happens very fast and the bite is usually very short lived, so you have to be there when it happens.

Don't look for Crappies in the narrows and by the large vegetation mats where you catch your bluegills. The crappies will be on the North side of the break into deep water on the South end of deep water in Back Bay. I hope you understand what I am trying to say, I am not sure I do, hehe! Right past the narrows leading into the North half of the bay is where I have done good on suspended Crappies. The spawn doesn't last long back there and it usually happens at the end of May or the first week in June.

Look for sandy, slightly rocky shorlines on the West side of Back Bay or any timber in the water. These are hotspots that those crappies choose to spawn around. My best suggestion is to find the fish fast, work the shorelines until you catch one and then concentrate in deep water adjacent to where that fish was. This will usually put you on fish. If there spawing and you find them, well then your set. Remember if you have a thermometer and the water temp is around 55-60 degrees, check all the reed beds and smaller substrate shorlines, those fish are fixin to spawn and it's your job to find them. I have also found them on the furthest North rocky campsite on the North end of the bay also. This is a good spot!

Hope I helped in anyway, feel free to drop me another line.


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Thank you for the response as well as the information!!
It's as I suspected...Some years we have located suspended "clouds" on the electronics. When we recieved no takers they were written off as bait fish ( ego of course). It looks like we will be giving up some of that excellant walleye bite to chase those Back bay Crappies.
I thank my friends every year for talking me into going up there. It's one of the few places in the state that you don't hear trucks in the back round. Very beautiful and peaceful. The fishing is an added bonus.
Thank you again for the information. Oh yea, my wife says thank you for the photos . She liked the look on my face when the pics of those awesome Kings came up!!
-nunzio smile.gif

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